- Burberry, Wood Group and miners lift FTSE 100 early on
- Markets await US payrolls data
- IMF to cut global GDP forecast
Stocks edged higher on Friday morning ahead of some closely-watched jobs data from the US later today; Burberry, Wood Group and the miners were among the highest risers on the FTSE 100 early on.
The monthly jobs report from the US Labor Department is due out this afternoon. Non-farm payrolls are expected to have increased by 111,000 last month, up from the previous gain of 96,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is forecast to rise to 8.2% from 8.1%.
The Footsie finished flat yesterday after both the Bank of England (BoE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) left rates unchanged and ECB President Mario Draghi said that the "euro is irreversible".
According to German paper Handelsblatt, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will reduce its global gross domestic product (GPD) growth forecast to 3.3% this year, down from the prior 3.4% estimate. In 2013, growth will accelerate to 3.6%, though still below the prior expectation of a 3.9% rise.
Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has signalled that his country could not survive beyond November if it isn't granted the next tranche of bailout aid.
FTSE 100: Burberry and Wood Group lead the riser
Luxury brand Burberry was among the best performers after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to 'overweight' this morning. In contrast, B&Q owner Kingfisher fell after the same US broker downgraded its rating to 'equal weight'.
Oilfield services firm Wood Group rose early on after saying that it is still confident in hitting full-year profit targets, with conditions in energy markets remaining favourable. "We anticipate strong operating cash flow in the second half, and our strong balance sheet provides a robust platform for growth," the group's interim management statement said.
Mining stocks were also in demand early on, with Vedanta, ENRC, Evraz, Kazakhmys and Rio Tinto making gains.
Technology firm Smiths Group was higher after saying that it will launch a $400m bond offering, saying that the funds will be used for general corporate funding purposes and to repay certain existing debt.
Engineering group IMI was a high riser after Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Cazenove both reiterated their 'overweight' ratings on the shares.
Supermarket group Tesco continued to fall, extending losses after its profits disappointed the markets on Wednesday. Shares are now down over 5% on the week. Both Seymour Pierce and Espirito Santo reduced their target prices for the stock this morning.
FTSE 250: KCOM sinks after update
Broadband and communications provider KCOM has performed in line with expectations in the first half of its fiscal year, but shares
sank after it said that orders in its enterprise division have been a bit below expectations.
Utilities services provider Telecom Plus gained after dangling the prospect of a sharply increased interim dividend in front of shareholders' eyes after a first-half surge in profits. With the group's business proving to be less seasonal these days the group is moving towards a more even split between its interim and final dividend payments each year.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,098.00p +3.10%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 322.70p +2.54%
IMI (IMI) 974.00p +2.42%
Evraz (EVR) 249.90p +1.96%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 720.00p +1.91%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 2,975.50p +1.80%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,845.00p +1.71%
Rexam (REX) 447.60p +1.61%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,016.00p +1.60%
CRH (CRH) 1,191.00p +1.36%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
British Land Co (BLND) 513.00p -1.63%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 763.00p -1.04%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 728.50p -1.02%
Next (NXT) 3,556.00p -1.00%
Pennon Group (PNN) 725.50p -0.96%
Diageo (DGE) 1,779.00p -0.92%
Tesco (TSCO) 315.25p -0.91%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,349.00p -0.84%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 679.50p -0.80%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,657.00p -0.72%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Ruspetro (RPO) 108.00p +3.85%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 897.50p +2.92%
NMC Health (NMC) 196.80p +2.77%
Hunting (HTG) 847.50p +2.48%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 202.70p +2.32%
Afren (AFR) 142.20p +1.94%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 431.90p +1.86%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 88.80p +1.78%
BH Global Ltd. GBP
Shares (BHGG) 1,156.00p +1.76%
Redrow (RDW) 161.50p +1.64%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
KCOM Group (KCOM) 78.25p -7.23%
PayPoint (PAY) 745.50p -2.55%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 710.50p -2.54%
Great Portland Estates (GPOR) 440.10p -2.31%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 490.00p -2.00%
Rank Group (RNK) 148.80p -1.72%
ICAP (IAP) 328.50p -1.62%
Investec (INVP) 383.60p -1.34%
Pace (PIC) 169.50p -1.34%
Derwent London (DLN) 1,930.00p -1.33%